Dear Cooking Light,
I clearly owe you an apology. Somewhere in the early 2000’s, I’m guessing it was, “light” food became synonymous with “boring” in my book. I turned my back on you for perceivably more gourmand magazines like Bon Appétit and Gourmet, Cook’s Illustrated, and more recently, Fine Cooking. Magazines that lying on the end table would send the message that I was a serious food lover, far more concerned with flavor than calories.
But then I got a little older. Metabolism seemed to slow down. And while I might have chased a fad diet here or there (uh… hello South Beach) I finally came to a spot in life of trying to find a balance. Eat healthy most of the time. Splurge some of the time. Really that pursuit, in a nut shell, is what this blog is all about.
So recently I was laid up, confined to the couch. Knowing how much I love magazines, my wonderful husband showed up with a stack of them – mostly cooking – mostly ones I don’t normally pick up. You were on top and by the time I had flipped cover to cover there were more dogears than can be found at the local dog park!
What I realize is that it’s much harder to be you, or any magazine or recipe or blog that focuses on making healthy food delicious and vice versa. It’s more challenging when there’s not an arsenal of cream and sugar, butter and alcohol, chocolate and bacon to fall back on. Yet you flaunted in this recipe that these ingredients don’t have to be forsaken. Yes – you wooed me with bacon and beer.
So, I hope Cooking Light you will accept my apology and welcome me back as I see a healthy relationship in our future.
Spicy Bacon & Brew Muffins
From Cooking Light
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp water
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
3 applewood-smoked bacon slices
3 Tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup Guinness Stout or other stout beer
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil; place a wire rack on the baking sheet.
To prepare streusel, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons water, and pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture evenly over both sides of bacon. Place coated bacon on rack; bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until done. Cool; finely chop.
Combine oats and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Stir in butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped bacon; reserve remaining bacon. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
To prepare muffins, weigh or lightly spoon 7.9 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 7.9 ounces flour, remaining bacon, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well. Combine beer, oil, vanilla, and egg in another bowl, gently stirring with a whisk. Add beer mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Evenly divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan; serve warm, or cool completely on a wire rack.
Nutritionals: Calories 176, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 1g, Protein 3g, Carbohydrate 27g, Fiber 1g, Cholesterol 20mg, Iron 1mg, Sodium 200mg, Calcium 52mg.